Full of ‘anti-fashion’ references, Belén seems to be destined for the fashion world. 28-year-old Murciana, her contradictions are her strength. Madrid, Paris and now Barcelona have been shaping her austere taste that accompanies her constant search for beauty.
Between boxes and hanging clothes, her house in Gracia has become a full-time studio and warehouse. With little decoration, it is a refuge where the only decorative elements are some drawings pasted on the walls, flower remains and a pair of mirrors resting on the floor. It is a feeling of a blank sheet of canvas. Belén wanted to be a painter as a child but thought that fashion could be the ‘portrait of the XXI century’. Portray to be able to identify ourselves from afar and not feel so alone in this world, as the characters of Jim Jarmusch, one of her great references.
- How, when and why does Mundaka arise?
I was in Paris, I wanted to leave from there because the lifestyle was not making me happy. It was at the beginning of 2014, I had been there for almost 2 years and when I was offered the opportunity to create my own project, I decided to do it. The idea of ‘Mundaka’ was to design for men, a new world for me because I had always been a woman. It was a very attractive and exciting challenge.
So I went back and started making patterns for men’s shorts and looking for factories in Spain.
- Why do you bet on MYBARRIO?
I really like the concept of ‘neighborhood’ understood as a community, an external eye that identifies and groups people and projects that share the city and that have a lot in common, even though they don’t know each other. I believe in the potential of ‘the union makes the force’ and the responsible consumption that MYBARRIO raises.
- Your 10 favorite places in your neighborhood
TEXAS cinemas, original version movies for 3 euros;
Slowmov, specialty coffee, the affogato they have with pistachio ice cream is insane;
Casa Vicens, a wonder;
Plaza de la Virreina and walking down Calle Torrijos;
La Fleca Fortino, everything is natural austere, irregular;
Vegan takeaway food ‘VegetArt’ saves your life;
Shoronpo, homemade Japanese food to take away, one of my favorites;
‘Revolution’ thrift store in Verdi;
Go running to Park Güell a Friday at 8:00 p.m. when nobody is there;
Centre artesá tradicional, a cultural center where they make concert cycles, good programming and small room!
- Where did your desire to create and design come from?
Since I was little I used to draw a lot and what I drew the most were people with faces, bodies and clothes! I remember stopping to think what I could put… I made it up a bit to solve that part of the drawing, because I have never been a model or chose my clothes or anything like that. So it was through drawing that I developed a pleasure for volumes and clothing. It is about the challenge of giving a solution to the fact that we have to dress.
- What is your favorite neighborhood and why?
I don’t have a favorite neighborhood because the truth is that I don’t do many leisure plans in the city either. The ones that attract me the most to live are Gracia, Poble Nou and perhaps Poble Sec, because they are a bit far from the center and have nature or a beach nearby. I care more about the light in the house and that there is no noise. The good thing about Gracia is that it has many old and specialized small shops, and several cinemas within a 20-minute walk.
- FASHION, like any artistic profession today, is complicated. How, when and why did you decide that you wanted to dedicate yourself to this?
The truth was that it was all pure intuition, nobody in my family is dedicated to this and I do not know why I was clear that I wanted to study fashion. I think you have to follow your instinct and do what you like, I liked it and I was good at it. I used to have a pipe drawing or sewing. If you do what you like, the stones will come to you to move forward, it is something that flows.
7. How would you explain your evolution as an artist and as a designer? Which of your pieces do you think best expresses what or who is Belén Vidal?
At first I understood fashion purely as art, as expression and without the functionality of dressing. Later I wished that people could dress in the street with my clothes, but as they wanted. Iwanted the ingenuity put into the garments to be looking to make life easier or simpler for the user instead of trying to force him to wear something that eats his personality. And now I am at that point, I continue to express myself through the garments, which free you from roles or conventional patterns, but they must be pieces that you can wear on a “normal day”.
I think the linen suit represents me quite a bit. Due to its irregular texture, it is unisex, almost like pajamas, it makes you feel like you are at ‘home’. And when you feel like this, it directly affects your attitude, you feel freer and more comfortable with all your surroundings.
Photos by César Segarra.
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